Shakespeare’s tutor

The influence of Thomas Kyd

Darren Freebury- Jones
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Shakespeare’’s tutor: The influence of Thomas Kyd defines the early modern playwright Thomas Kyd’’s dramatic corpus and indicates where and how Kyd contributed to the development of Shakespeare’’s dramas. Scholars have yet to recognise the extent to which Kyd influenced Shakespeare, nor the full extent of his surviving dramatic corpus. This book collects and sifts a wide range of evidence in favour of an ‘‘enlarged’’ Kyd canon while introducing cutting-edge digital resources for authorship attribution purposes. Through a combination of computational and traditional literary-critical analysis, Darren Freebury-Jones makes a case for Kyd’’s authorship of six sole-authored plays: The Spanish Tragedy, Soliman and Perseda, King Leir, Arden of Faversham, Fair Em, and Cornelia. The book demonstrates the fibrous influence that Kyd exerted on Shakespeare’’s phraseology, verse style, and overall dramaturgy, and proposes that Shakespeare’’s dramatic output was, in part at least, dependent on processes of adaptation and collaboration with Kyd. A wealth of evidence indicates that Shakespeare and Kyd’’s relationship extended to revision and co-authorship in plays such as Henry VI Part One, Edward III, and the 1602 additions to The Spanish Tragedy. The book situates Kyd and Shakespeare’s plays in their original historical context: the narrow and intensely competitive as well as collaborative world of the London theatres. Dramatists such as Shakespeare were also actors, and would develop an intimate familiarity with plays in which they had performed. Ground-breaking in its implications for our understanding of Shakespeare’s dramatic development, the book aims to revolutionise our understanding of the early modern canon.

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